Dune Saga – Reader’s Guide

On This Page:

  • Reader’s Chronological Guide to the Worlds of Frank Herbert’s Dune
  • Legends of Dune Trilogy [#01-#06]
  • Great Schools Series [#07-#10]
  • House Trilogy [#11-#13]
  • Dune Chronicles and Heroes of Dune [#14-#28]
  • The Grand Finale (i.e., Dune 7) [#29-#30]
  • Other Resources

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Reader’s Chronological Guide

to the Worlds of Frank Herbert’s Dune

The following list puts all books and short stories in the universe of Dune into chronological order, as best as possible. I started with the chronology and various trilogy/series titles found on the official Dune novels website and then added other specific details and versions into the chronology. So, this reader’s guide includes prequels and sequels to Frank Herbert’s original six-book series, as well as “inquels” (additional stories and deleted scenes that coincide with the timeline of an existing novel) and “midquels” (additional stories and novels that bridge the timelines found in two novels). Sometimes there are different descriptions available for the short stories, and it is difficult to determine whether a particular story should be viewed as an inquel or midquel, so those designations on short stories are still tentative until I can get the entire Duniverse read in order.

Short stories are found in quotation marks. Novels are in italics. The six novels and few additional stories by Frank Herbert himself are so noted. All other items written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Most links are to hardcover editions available on Amazon. For used copies, and especially out-of-print items, also check abebooks.

Readers Guide Sections

1. Legends of Dune

1. “Hunting Harkonnens” – short story prequel; in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune. It was also issued as a separate giveaway “chapbook” (booklet).

2. The Butlerian Jihad.

3. “Whipping Mek” – a midquel short story that bridges The Butlerian Jihad and The Machine Crusade; in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune. It was also issued as a separate giveaway “chapbook” (booklet). Some of the chapbooks were issued with an audiobook CD of the story, and I have found both versions available at times on abebooks.

4. The Machine Crusade.

5. “The Faces of a Martyr” – midquel short story that bridges The Machine Crusade and The Battle of Corrin; in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune.

6. The Battle of Corrin.

2. Great Schools of Dune

7. The Sisterhood of Dune.

8. Mentats of Dune.

9. “Red Plague”; in Tales of Dune. (NOT found in The Road to Dune, as most of the other short stories are.)

10. Navigators of Dune.

3. House Trilogy

11. House Atreides. Be sure to note the separate afterwords by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Brian describes the finding of his father’s files of Dune character sketches, original notes, story outlines, etc., and Kevin describes his connections with the Dune series as a reader and how he became a co-author with Brian.

12. House Harkonnen.

13. House Corrino.

4. Dune Chronicles and Heroes of Dune

14. Dune, by Frank Herbert. I would recommend getting either the Dune 40th Anniversary Edition, or Dune 50th Anniversary Edition, both of which has an afterword article by Brian Herbert. You might prefer The Illustrated Dune, with color and black-and-white artwork by John Schoenherr, who did the original cover art for Frank Herbert’s “Dune Chronicles” book series.

15. Deleted scenes and chapters (inquels) from Dune are found in The Road to Dune. These were edited from the original short-story versions that were serialized in the renown Analog science fiction magazine.

16. “Wedding Silk” – inquel short story that takes place during the timespan of Dune; in Tales of Dune. (NOT found in The Road to Dune, as most of the other short stories are.) Two additional short stories in the original Kindle edition eBook appear to also be inquels for Dune: “Dune: Blood and Water” and “Dune: Fremen Justice.” I have not yet found these in print, and they don’t appear to be in the Tales of Dune: Expanded Edition Kindle eBook.

17. “A Whisper of Caladan Seas” – short-Story, takes place during Dune; found in The Road to Dune and in Tales of Dune.

18. “The Road to Dune” is a short story found in Eye, a book of collected stories by Frank Herbert. This is not the same as the book, The Road to Dune. This short story is presented as a sampling from a “walking tour” written for visitors to Arrakis, with most illustrations by Jim Burns.

19. Paul of Dune serves as a midquel that bridges the events of Dune and Dune Messiah. This is volume #1 of 2 in the Heroes of Dune.

20. Dune Messiah, by Frank Herbert.

21. Deleted scenes and chapters from Dune Messiah (inquels) are found in The Road to Dune. These were edited from the original short-story versions that were serialized in the Analog science fiction magazine.

22. The Winds of Dune serves as a midquel that bridges the events of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. This is volume #2 of 2 in the Heroes of Dune.

23. Children of Dune, by Frank Herbert.

24. God Emperor of Dune, by Frank Herbert.

25. Heretics of Dune, by Frank Herbert.

26. Chapterhouse Dune, by Frank Herbert.

27. “Sea Child” – short story for Chapterhouse Dune; found in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune.

28. “Treasure in the Sand” – short story for Chapterhouse Dune; in Tales of Dune. (NOT found in The Road to Dune, as most of the other short stories are.)

5. The Grand Finale

29. Hunters of Dune.

30. Sandworms of Dune.

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Legends of Dune Trilogy [#01-#06]

1. “Hunting Harkonnens” – short story prequel; in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune. It was also issued as a separate giveaway “chapbook” (booklet).

2. The Butlerian Jihad.

3. “Whipping Mek” – a midquel short story that bridges The Butlerian Jihad and The Machine Crusade; in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune. It was also issued as a separate giveaway “chapbook” (booklet). Some of the chapbooks were issued with an audiobook CD of the story, and I have found both versions available at times on abebooks.

4. The Machine Crusade.

5. “The Faces of a Martyr” – midquel short story that bridges The Machine Crusade and The Battle of Corrin; in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune.

6. The Battle of Corrin.

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Great Schools Series [#07-#10]

This series was the final one produced. It focuses on the roots of the Bene Gesserit, Mentats, Suk Doctors, Spacing Guild and Navigators, and Corrino Imperium.

7. The Sisterhood of Dune.

8. Mentats of Dune.

9. “Red Plague”; in Tales of Dune. (NOT found in The Road to Dune, as most of the other short stories are.)

10. Navigators of Dune.

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House Trilogy [#11-#13]

11. House Atreides. Be sure to note the separate afterwords by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Brian describes the finding of his father’s files of Dune character sketches, original notes, story outlines, etc., and Kevin describes his connections with the Dune series as a reader and how he became a co-author with Brian.

12. House Harkonnen.

13. House Corrino.

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Dune Chronicles and Heroes of Dune [#14-#28]

The label “Dune Chronicles” has been applied to the six novels written by Frank Herbert, and it is one he used himself on occasion. The “Heroes of Dune” series by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson focuses on midquels that bridge the volumes of the Dune Chronicles.

14. Dune, by Frank Herbert. I would recommend getting either the Dune 40th Anniversary Edition, or Dune 50th Anniversary Edition, both of which has an afterword article by Brian Herbert. You might prefer The Illustrated Dune, with color and black-and-white artwork by John Schoenherr, who did the original cover art for Frank Herbert’s “Dune Chronicles” book series.

15. Deleted scenes and chapters (inquels) from Dune are found in The Road to Dune. These were edited from the original short-story versions that were serialized in the renown Analog science fiction magazine.

16. “Wedding Silk” – inquel short story that takes place during the timespan of Dune; in Tales of Dune. (NOT found in The Road to Dune, as most of the other short stories are.) Two additional short stories in the original Kindle edition eBook appear to also be inquels for Dune: “Dune: Blood and Water” and “Dune: Fremen Justice.” I have not yet found these in print, and they don’t appear to be in the Tales of Dune: Expanded Edition Kindle eBook.

17. “A Whisper of Caladan Seas” – short-Story, takes place during Dune; found in The Road to Dune and in Tales of Dune.

18. “The Road to Dune” is a short story found in Eye, a book of collected stories by Frank Herbert. This is not the same as the book, The Road to Dune. This short story is presented as a sampling from a “walking tour” written for visitors to Arrakis, with most illustrations by Jim Burns.

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19. Paul of Dune serves as a midquel that bridges the events of Dune and Dune Messiah. This is volume #1 of 2 in the Heroes of Dune.

20. Dune Messiah, by Frank Herbert.

21. Deleted scenes and chapters from Dune Messiah (inquels) are found in The Road to Dune. These were edited from the original short-story versions that were serialized in the Analog science fiction magazine.

22. The Winds of Dune serves as a midquel that bridges the events of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. This is volume #2 of 2 in the Heroes of Dune.

23. Children of Dune, by Frank Herbert.

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24. God Emperor of Dune, by Frank Herbert.

25. Heretics of Dune, by Frank Herbert.

26. Chapterhouse Dune, by Frank Herbert.

27. “Sea Child” – short story for Chapterhouse Dune; found in The Road to Dune and Tales of Dune.

28. “Treasure in the Sand” – short story for Chapterhouse Dune; in Tales of Dune. (NOT found in The Road to Dune, as most of the other short stories are.)

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The Grand Finale (i.e., Dune 7) [#29-#30]

This final duology that completes Frank Herbert’s Dune Chronicles was written by Brain Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson from “Dune 7” notes left by Frank Herbert himself.

29. Hunters of Dune.

30. Sandworms of Dune.

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Other Resources

Biography, Background, and Origins Analysis

Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert by Brian Herbert. This biography took Brian five years to complete, and it offers a wealth of background details.

The Road to Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson includes correspondence that led to the publishing of Dune, and many deletions and rough draft versions of material from Dune Trilogy #1. They also wrote an extended two-part story, “Spice Planet,” based on one of Frank Herbert’s earliest drafts of what eventually became the story of Dune.

Dune: An interview with Frank Herbert and David Lynch – cassette tape, with some great material from Frank Herbert on his views about power. From the description on the cover: “Author Frank Herbert and film director David lynch discuss the making of “Dune,” the motion picture, followed by Frank Herbert’s dialogue on beliefs, values, and his writing.”

The Dune Encyclopedia: The Complete Authorized Guide and Companion to Frank Herbert’s Masterpiece of the Imagination, edited by Dr. Willis McNelly. From the front cover: “Containing all the people, places, history, geography, ecology, battles, births, creatures, customs, sciences, arts, languages, background, everything that is in the books and much, much more!” NOTE: This is not an encyclopedia in the usual sense, as it is not fully and directly drawn from Frank Herbert’s published works. Some material is based on the overall ideas from the “Duniverse,” but spins in other directions and has details which contradict what Herbert wrote. Still, it is a valuable source, as Dr. McNelly was a friend of Frank Herbert, and in fact interviewed him and his wife, Beverly, and the transcript is available online.

The Notebooks of Frank Herbert’s Dune. This is a book of quotations drawn from throughout the six novels in the “Dune Chronicles” written by Frank Herbert himself. The book is edited by Brian Herbert, and features illustrations by Raquel Jaramillo.

Frank Herbert (Recognitions), by Timothy O’Reilly (Ungar Publishing Company, 1981). This is out of print, but it appears the entire book is available online. In this book, Tim O’Reilly offers some significant analysis on the works of Frank Herbert, and his views and values. He was also the editor for Frank Herbert: The Maker of Dune (Berekly Trade, 1987), which is also out of print.

Literary Analysis and Study Notes

Chaos Theory, Asimov’s Foundations and Robots, and Herbert’s Dune: The Fractal Aesthetic of Epic Science Fiction by Donald E. Palumbo. A very expensive and hard-to-find volume, but full of VERY intriguing material! From the publisher’s website: “Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert remain two of the most popular and influential science fiction writers of the 20th century. Each is a master structuralist whose works succeed in large part through the careful mirroring of concepts at every narrative level. While the fiction of Herbert and Asimov has attracted scholarly attention, science itself is a crucial element that is almost completely ignored in critical assessments of science fiction as literature. Because the works of Asimov and Herbert are grounded in scientific premises, an appreciation of their literary structure depends on an understanding of the scientific concepts informing them. This book examines Herbert’s Dune series and Asimov’s Foundation trilogy and robot stories from the perspective of chaos theory to elucidate the structure of their works.

“Chaos theory is the study of orderly patterns in turbulent, dynamic, or erratic systems. The order of these systems stems from the interdependence of numerous interlocking events or components. These may take the form of fractal structures, in which similar but not necessarily identical structures are replicated across the same scale and increasingly smaller scales. This book argues that in drawing upon apparently chaotic natural and scientific systems, Herbert and Asimov created fractal narrative structures in their works.”

A Dune Companion: Characters, Places and Terms in Frank Herbert’s Original Six Novels by Donald E. Palumbo (McFarland Publishing, 2018). Details and image to be added.

SparkNotes: Dune. Details to be added.

A Study Guide for Frank Herbert’s Dune. Details to be added.

Dune, Philosophy, and Science

Dune and Philosophy, edited by Jeffery Nicholas. A book of essays, with this description from the back cover: “Frank Herbert’s DUNE saga, the most widely read science-fiction story of all time and of all time to come, presents us with a cosmos in which fanaticism knows no mercy and history is made by the interplay of ruthless conspiracies. What happens when genetic manipulation creates a godlike messiah? Must the overthrow of a brutal dictatorship generate more problems than it solves? Does our reliance on valuable resources – oil or addictive spice – place us at the mercy of those who can destroy those resources? Can we resurrect the dead by rebuilding persons from a few of their bodily cells? DUNE AND PHILOSOPHY ambushes the Duniverse from all directions. Those anxiously admired or fondly hated characters – Paul Atreides, Baron Vladimir Harkkonen, Duncan Idaho, The God-Emperor Leto II, the Bene Gesserit witches – speak once more in this fearless philosophical sifting of life’s timeless questions.”

The Science of Dune: An Unauthorized Exploration into the Real Science Behind Frank Herbert’s Fictional Universe, edited by Kevin R. Grazier, Ph.D. A book of essays, with this Product Description as found on on Amazon: “Delving into the world of Dune, this guide offers fascinating scientific speculation on topics including physics, chemistry, ecology, evolution, psychology, technology, and genetics. It also scrutinizes Frank Herbert’s science fiction world by asking questions such as Is the ecology of Dune realistic? Is it theoretically possible to get information from the future? Could humans really evolve as Herbert suggests? and Which of Herbert’s inventions have already come to life? This companion to the Dune series is a must-have for any fan who wants to revisit this science fiction world and explore it even further.”

Wisdom of the Sand, by Kevin Williams. Details to be added.

Dune Art and Illustrations

Siudmak, Dune exhibition catalog. Siudmak’s art appears in a Polish illustrated editions of books in the Dune saga. Details to be added.

The Illustrated Dune, with artwork by John Schoenherr. Details to be added.

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